Low Nonrelapse Mortality after HLA-Matched Related 2-Step Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Using Cyclophosphamide for Graft-versus-Host Disease Prophylaxis and the Potential Impact of Non- Cyclophosphamide-Exposed T Cells on Outcomes.Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2020 Jul 03 [Online ahead of print]BB
The use of cyclophosphamide (CY) for bidirectional tolerization of recipient and donor T cells is associated with reduced rates of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and nonrelapse mortality (NRM) after HLA-matched hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, recurrent disease remains the primary barrier to long-term survival. We extended our 2-step approach to HLA-matched related HSCT using a radiation-based myeloablative conditioning regimen combined with a high dose of T cells in an attempt to reduce relapse rates while maintaining the beneficial effects of CY tolerization. After conditioning, patients received their grafts in 2 components: (1) a fixed dose of 2 × 108/kg T cells, followed 2 days later by CY, and (2) a CD34-selected graft containing a small residual amount of non-CY-exposed T cells, at a median dose of 2.98 × 103/kg. Forty-six patients with hematologic malignancies were treated. Despite the myeloablative conditioning regimen and use of high T cell doses, the cumulative incidences of grade II-IV acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, and NRM at 1 year and 5 years were very low, at 13%, 9%, and 4.3%, respectively. This contributed to a high overall survival of 89.1% at 1 year and 65.8% at 5 years. Relapse was the primary cause of mortality, with a cumulative incidence of 23.9% at 1 year and 45.7% at 5 years. In a post hoc analysis, relapse rates were significantly lower in patients receiving greater than versus those receiving less than the group median of non-CY-exposed residual T cells in the CD34 product (19.3% versus 58.1%; P = .009), without a concomitant increase in NRM. In its current form, this 2-step regimen was highly tolerable, but strategies to reduce relapse, potentially the addition of T cells not exposed to CY, are needed.